The Assertion of Freedom

“The assertion of freedom as against its ever-present, ever-changing denials is what marks Abrahamic monotheism as a distinctive philosophy. We are free. We are choosing animals. ‘I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Therefore choose life’ (Deuteronomy 30:19). Life is choice. In that fact lies our dignity. If we have no freedom, what makes us different from the animals we kill for our own ends, sometimes even for sport? What makes us persons, not things? If we deny freedom in theory, eventually we will lose it in practice, as happened in Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia, and as may yet happen in new and unforeseeable ways.”

“For the sake of human dignity, science must be accompanied by another voice. Not in opposition to science, but as the humanising voice of what once we called the soul. There is no greater defence of human dignity than the phrase from the first chapter of the Bible that dared to call the human being ‘the image of God’.”

The Great Partnership, Chapter 6, p. 110